What began as a project to get food to rural kids has grown into an initiative involving dozens of schools across our area.

In late 2015, Gary West realized that Shakespeare’s Sprucedale Public School needed help with its student nutrition program.

As the operator of Westlandyn Farms, West knew right away how he could contribute.

“We thought hardboiled, peeled eggs would be a great add to the program,” he says.

Arrangements were made to have eggs peeled, packaged and delivered to the school.

Word soon spread. A little more than two years later, West is co-ordinating hardboiled egg deliveries for more than 100 schools across Huron, Perth and Oxford counties and into Waterloo Region.

“The kids just love these eggs,” he says.

“It’s really good protein, and it’s really safe and really nutritious.”

West has recruited a team of egg farmers from across the province to contribute toward the 25,000 eggs now needed for the program every month.

Farm Credit Canada has arranged to cover the cost of the eggs, meaning the often lean budgets of school nutrition programs aren’t affected by the program.

At Sprucedale, the eggs are often served along with other snacks such as crackers, cheese or fruit.

They go to kids like Parker Glitz, a Grade 2 student who says he likes the texture of eggs and the adventure of eating them.

“I like when you bite into it, because you see the yolk,” he says.

In addition to providing kids with a nutritious snack, West says, the egg program also helps kids learn about the importance of farming and how food is produced.

With reporting by Randy Steinman